| 中国日报网贵州频道 | 中国贵州网 |

Dyeing for a slow life

( China Daily Europe )

Updated: 2016-04-01

In a small village near Chengdu, in southwestern China's Sichuan province, artisan Han Shan endeavors to live a sedate life - he just prays, dyes fabric and gathers herbs in the mountains.

Han was born in an ethnic Miao village in Guizhou province. He went to college at 18 and worked in cities after graduation, but he says he found urban life too fast and too loud.

He quit and hiked more than 3,000 kilometers through Yunnan province and the Tibet autonomous region, all the while studying different kinds of painting and ceramic art.

But fabric dyeing was his family's tradition, and he soon settled down and developed a daily routine: He wakes up early, burns incense in honor of his ancestors and then sees to his vats.

In his mind, the liquid dye he uses to make his art represents emotion and life. He says, "Just like people need to eat when they're hungry, the dye needs to be fed with indigo ointment."

Indigo ointment, which has thousands of years of history, is made with fermented indigowoad root, a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Han says he usually has a design in mind before he soaks a piece of white cloth to dye it with different depths of blue, a process not unlike Chinese ink and wash painting.

His art has made him famous in the village. Many people come from near and far to visit or buy his work, but its not something that makes him rush his work.

"In these hasty times, I just want to do something slow, " he says.

 Dyeing for a slow life

Han Shan puts indigo ointment into liquid dye.

 Dyeing for a slow life

The artisan pours a bowl of liquor into a vat to begin the fermentation.

 Dyeing for a slow life

He stirs the mixture until blue flowers and yellow clouds appear on the surface of the mixture liquid.

 Dyeing for a slow life

He dips the white cloth into the vat and then removes it immediately.

 Dyeing for a slow life

The fabric is dried.

 Dyeing for a slow life

Han searches for herbs to make the mixture for his liquid dye. Photos by Zhang Lei / For China Daily

(China Daily European Weekly 04/01/2016 page4)

Ethnic Culture
Contact us
Copyright ©2013 - Guizhou Provincial Information Office All Rights Reserved.